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147 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Another torture horror, for fans only, 11 December 2012

I haven't written a review in IMDb for so long time. This site has helped in so many ways for over 10 years now, thanks for that! I had to return to write a review on this one. I am a fan of horror and my morbid curiosity has me still going after the most extreme films, so I had to see this, reading some pretty reviews in here...

Now, torture horror, why do I keep seeing films like this? I have seen several recent films of this 'genre', as well as the most classic of the old ones, several french ones with pretty good reviews in here, Japanese , American, you name it (Rob Zombie films and french Martyrs among the best of the lot IMO) - many reviewers went as far as to underestimate the importance and value of Saw and Hostel series by calling them mainstream, Hollywood and such.

Well, for me, torture horror does not become better, more arty, less hollywoodish or more extreme by pretentiousness, nor by lack of script. Depth and no extremity alone is what made the better extreme films be the best ones of their kind.

Torture alone with no script is no proof of a creators authenticity or artiness, rather, it's the proof the torture is used for commercial reasons aiming to viewers that "have seen it all". Don't get this wrong, this is not all bad, but in my eyes it's a cheap excuse to see some more torture. No catharsis, no deep characters, acting is OK though.

Most of the torture horror I have seen seems to hope to become something important by being only torture horror with no script (AKA why do the villains do what they do? is there depth in them?). So most of the times the 'script' is so thin it's insulting, so I'd better watch Grotesque (2009) again, than this: it doesn't try at all to be something else from what it is: torture porn for people who've seen it all in such a degree, so that a script might work as a distraction from the torture.

Grotesque has to be one of the most sincere ones, and one of those that makes you feel real dirty after watching. Not the way Hostel or Saw made you feel, as those are entertaining. The loved ones just didn't live up to its premise for me. Doesn't qualify as a decent film, only as torture horror.

I would only recommend this for torture horror fans, and then again, there are much better films to make you feel sick and depraved for watching or whatever it is you are looking for in such a film.

All in all, "The loved ones" has decent acting. But whats the point if you got a no-story? Torture porn / torture horror 'subgenre' failed to become even a small fraction of the masterpieces that are Saw and Hostel. Maybe because it became a subgenre, while the whole point of it was the horror.

The horror in torture comes from both the tortured one and the torturer. So the most recent films decided to prevent us from seeing the torturers point of view, thus the horror degraded into 'porn' for torture porn freaks.

Even some of the recent euro-films of this kind has this fault - we don't get to see enough of the bad guys motivations.

See only if you have to.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mindless fun, exploitations fans delight, 3 August 2007

Not being a fan of exploitation films, but for years after violent, extreme, provocative films in general, I stumbled upon this little flick from the 1968. I hadn't yet seen any other film from Herschell Gordon Lewis {shame!), so I thought I should give it try.

It's quite strange this is not more popular, because, if this is what Herschell Gordon Lewis films feel like, then I would like to see more. It is probably one of the earliest samples of mindless politically incorrect cinema done pretty sloppy but effectively, a classic exploitation, if you ask me, and even if you regularly don't take it too seriously, it's quite daring for 1968. Some scenes might raise a smile to some, intentionally or not.

So, this quite unknown film is recommended for those after a nice old party film for a night with friends, pizza and beers {the music just feels great with this one), exploitation fans {this is a must) and in general, those who are looking for mindless fun, not shocked by somewhat explicit material.

9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
A must for exploitation fans, 17 July 2006

Well, let me say that this Troma feature is unlike everything I have seen, an a-typical Troma. This is actually meant to be a lot more serious that the average Troma, and it works fine as a decent semi-exploitation film. I am a fan of Troma films but not really an exploitation enthousiast. The acting is pretty decent. Humorous moments are not a lot, actually they are quite a few. There is some nudity (after all you 're watching a woman-in-prison film...) and a generous amount of violence and sadism. I don't really recommend you to watch it expecting much fun, and if you are looking for casual Troma weirdness & fun, you won't find too much.

Exploitation / woman-in-prison flick enthousiasts , this is a must to discover!!!! You are sure to enjoy it much more than I did.

12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A very original, unique film..., 28 June 2006

Not being the typical hong-hong film fan (actually I have seen very few HK films) but having seen many of the world's most extraordinary films, I have to say that I loved "Chinese torture chamber story" in a very special way.

Most reviews here, although not losing the point, are representative of the western exploitation-type-of-viewing, with which I cant't really identify with, at least in regard with this film. I actually thought this blending of comedy, horror & erotica resulted in a most magnificent, poetic, weirdly funny, wildly violent result. This is quite unlike everything I have ever seen - I always had a tension to love any original and extraordinary film.

Okay, I admit, I have seen the majority of violent & strange films, so it's quite understandable that I am not offended or shocked by the bold erotic element or the horrific tortures, and so I could dive in deeper in the films story and concept which is by no means shallow. I have the feeling that it's for the most part the filmmakers craft and smart use of humour and the way the story was presented make the violence & erotica a means to a higher end. Yet, extreme violence is not hidden or implied - on the contrary, it's on display every once in a while.

Go after this film, if you can tolerate some violence, this is one of those one-of-a-kind films which can make the difference....

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I love this movie and I love Troma..., 23 June 2006

These last months I got to see a couple of Troma films, apart from Toxie 1, which I had seen in 2002. Some of the definite classics (Troma wars, Class of nuke'em high) and some of the so-called 'worst' (Nymphoid barbarian from dinosaur hell, Surf Nazis must die) are some of them. I don't consider myself a Troma completist or expert yet, but I love them already.

OK, we see Troma had minor or no involvement in this one. I am nevertheless thankful to them for financing that. Me being both a serious-film fan but also b-movie/splatter/weird/extreme enthousiast, Troma stuff has to be one of the most original and ahead of it's time entertainment flicks, often not without some political incorrect meanings & provocations. This small independent film is everything a low-budget-in-the-woods-slasher-spoof/evil-dead-clone would ever want to be! Words fail to describe the genuine feeling of pure fun this film can offer to the open minded! I dare to say that this is a step (or two) above the usual Troma comedy standard, for it's amazing pace, sense of humour and its fair acting. Splatter scenes are mediocre but imaginative and funny - and there're a lot of them! I am so glad to see a post from the leading actor. Sure you don't expect "rock-star" attitude from people working on such a film, but it's always nice to see the "artist" break the barriers of the medium and the film industry ethics by coming closer to the audience.


5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Expected more, but it's still interesting, especially for Greek viewers., 11 May 2006

Science fiction? Certainly not! Fantasy? Not quite... I wouldn't care about any labelisation, if they weren't misleading.... It's quite common for the Greek film-goer to give a Greek film the "Greek-film-treatment", that is to say: "It's quite good, for a Greek film". I too have felt that way some times. But this is just because Greek films in general suck. It would be great for a Greek film to stand alone as a great original film, like "Vasilias" or Nikolaidis films for example. Anyway, on to the film...

Yes, this is pretty original for a Greek movie. The reference/ comparison to David Lynch is almost spontaneous. The film is full of stylish, filter-edited, colourful 'mystery' scenes, and among them are some genuinely funny and/or inspired ideas & stuff - yet, most of the material fails to present something really original.

I don't regard this necessarily as a unoriginal wanna-be "Mulholand drive" clone, but I can easily see how many fans of subversive cinema would bash the film for that. The film DOES have wit & freshness, but whatever it is, it is somewhat buried between the lack of substance (note: it's not just lack of plot, with which I have no problem), slow pace and the constant mysterious, overwhelming soundtrack, even when nothing really strange takes place .... Also note that it is a nice soundtrack...

I liked the film. If I am stricter than usual (I usually write only positive reviews of older unknown stuff) , it's because it's a Greek film from a promising director. I haven't yet seen Fratzis "Polaroid" (2000), but I saw potential in him. Maybe if he worked with better material?

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful soundtrack, I enjoyed so much..., 26 April 2006

This film is no better or worse than others have described. It's silly, its corny, we know that already, I mean I knew before even pressing play button..... I have had my fair in strange, extreme, original , unconventinal movies - nevertheless I was never a bad-film fan, I like b-films through the passion of the independent anti-artist, but i haven't done much research in the legendary 'best' bad films...

I have to add that I have only seen Toxic avenger 1 from Troma... not much else, but i plan to! I really can't describe the emotions and vibe this films awoke! The perfect musical theme, some kind of early post-electro , pre-techno tune stuck in my mind, this piece of 'art' is not easily labeled as comedy, nor horror. I liked the fact that it doesn't want to be anything much, and it knows its values... Little talking & meanings, lots of wanna-be (?)style , lots of amateurish passion, lots of great synthesizer music (i happen to be one of the hugest fans of them all!) and cheesy (?) editing ....

Easily my best bad film, not that I have seen a lot of them, and for what it is worth, it's because of the music ....

If you have a somewhat strange humour and happen to like electronic music and 90s synthesizers, give this a try... quite a different take on praising this piece of trash, isn't it??

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
The most uncompromising and interesting Greek director strikes again!, 6 April 2006

It's been a while since I last saw a Nikolaides film, one of the pioneering and original uncompromising Greek directors, if not the only one. I thought "Tha se do stin kolasi agapi mou" (=I will see you in hell my love), was part of the Singapore Sling saga, but according to the directors comments, "Tha se do stin kolasi..." is the beginning of a new saga, more personal, on subjects like damned loves, friendship, traitorship and more.

Stylish, atmospheric and very erotic, a film which is likely to equally disturb and fascinate the audience with an open heart & mind. The traditional but intense Nikolaidis cinematography style is ever-present and , as usual, the best part about his films is the performances, dialogues, tabboos broken, fears and norms questioned. Not surprisingly, his characters are at best alienated if not somewhat crazy and delirius.

This is not an ultra-violent or bad-taste film, like say, Singapore Sling, but it's not for the sensitive as well. If you like challenging cinema, watch every single Nikolaidis picture. Look out for a very interesting interview featured in the DVD.

Medea (1969)
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
'Hard' Pasolini film for few. Bold visuals & soundtrack, little text, 6 August 2005

There are several directors that make "arty" films that are certainly not for everyone. Pasolini has also done films which can be more easily acceptable by wider audiences; yet this is not one of them. This is one of those films that can and will be liked by only a few people. Others will turn their head the other way or simply hate it...

Well I like weird art & films, I like Pasolini, and I liked Medea in various interesting aspects. I suppose one should at least know the basics of Euripedes story to comprehend the story - Pasolini doesn't focus in the story so much, important facts are assumed by the viewer and the dialogues are scarce within the film. No narration exists.

I think Pasolini here was more interested in presenting the cultural / ethnological / theological / religious stigma of the era - his usual interest on god and religion is also here, despite text is given few opportunities to breed context in this film. We have also the theme of ancient world VS the new world of logic and the new gods. This is one of the films, like, say, Hertzog's films, that are up to the viewer to comprehend, or a film critics would call a symbolic one. Needless to say one has to like to think while watching this one, not be spoon-fed.

Last but not least, the soundtrack enhances this strongly visual experience a lot. A set of strange but intense folk/ethnic/avant guard/experimental songs make the viewing a unique experience for those who like 'hard' films....

The King (2002)
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Great fantastic film!, 3 March 2005

Indeed fellow mate from Greece, few Greek films can make such an impression. I don't really give a s##t whether it made a 'blockbuster' success - what I would really like for this film is to be given a chance for an international watching (the DVD i saw has English subtitles option) and that's great because it deserves to be seen outside Greece as well.

An accurate study on the culture and ethics of Greek country, especially that of a small community like a village. All acting is excellent, music also fits the mood great, the plot (based on a real story) is gripping, everything is perfect in this film which has nothing to do with the rest of the wanna-be Greek crap that gets wide distribution.

Grammatikos is a great visionary, his other film I have seen, "Apontes" is also great - but didn't make me the same impression as this did. Add that Giannis Zouganelis (comic legend, but also good actor) is also in it and you got a winner - by any measure - either you're a enthusiastic film buff (arty or not) or your an occasional film-goer, you have to see this great Greek film to appreciate it, and to see that THERE IS Greek cinema that has something to say, if rare.

And yes, there's woman skin for all to see, but fortunately not enough (and not filmed SEXY enough) to make the viewer distract from the true thing.

All thumbs up (hands and feet), easily one of my best Greek films so far!

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